Stocks on Wall Street headed sharply lower near the end of Wednesday trading, after outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke presided over the final Committee meeting of his tenure by slicing off another $10 billion from the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing programme.
The timing of the move is uncharacteristically bold for the central bank, and stocks were already trading lower before the announcement as investors weather a lackluster earnings season, as well as signs of trouble brewing in emerging-market currencies
Standard & Poor’s 500: -1.02 percent to 1,774.20
Dow Jones Industrial Average: -1.19 percent to 15,738.79
Nasdaq: -1.14 to 4,051.43
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On the S&P 500:
As is often the case, tech stocks were hit the hardest by the day’s news, with Yahoo! (YHOO) down nearly 9 percent by the bell, along with Facebook (FB) , AT&T Inc. (T) , and data storage device maker EMC Corporation (EMC) all down around 3 percent.
On the Dow:
The most spectacular decline on the Dow was Boeing (BA) , who saw shares down over 5 percent by closing time as a result of a fairly dismal earnings report the company released earlier in the day. Most of the benchmark index’s components finished off the day in the red, but DuPont (DD) and Microsoft (MSFT) were bright-spots, up 2 and 1 percent resectively.
On the Nasdaq:
Apple (AAPL) dropped over 1 percent by the end of Wednesday’s trading session, while other tech heavy-hitters Micron Technology (MU) and Intel (INTC) were also lower. Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) was down nearly 6 percent, while major chemical producer Cereplast (CERP) was down 6.25 percent.